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Phuket

Opinion: Phuket poised for superyacht glory

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Opinion: Phuket poised for superyacht glory | The Thaiger

Andy Treadwell was the founder and CEO of Informa Plc’s Sports & Leisure Group (ISLG) and has been working with a number of the world’s most prestigious yachting and sporting industry events from 2007 until 2012. He is now based in Singapore, busy developing a portfolio of events specializing in the leisure marine sector, focusing on unlocking the huge potential for the yachting industry in Asia.

ISLG encompassed all the sports and yachting businesses in the company, including industry-leading events such as the Monaco Yacht Show, the Singapore Yacht Show, the Superyacht Cup Regattas, the Abu Dhabi Yacht Show, the Phuket International Boat Show, the International Sports Event Management Conference, Future Sponsorship and the World Yacht Racing Forum.

Here, he talks about the impact the growth of the superyacht industry in Phuket could have on the economy.

PHUKET: Phuket already plays a central role in the yachting industry in Southeast Asia, in the sense that it has a 10 or 20 year head start as the best-known destination and the main ‘hub’ for large yachts cruising the region. More importantly, with the industry in Asia now poised to develop rapidly, the island has a genuine opportunity to capitalize on this situation over the next few years. It has the popularity, geographical position and infrastructure to benefit most from the expected influx of superyachts coming east from the Mediterranean for the winter season.

Phuket is an important location for the yachting industry, if not essential, in that it is the first and the most obvious stop-off point for all the big boats coming to Asia from the Mediterranean via the Gulf, the Indian Ocean and the Maldives. There are plenty of superyacht marina berths, hotels, refit and repair facilities and so on – it is a world class cruising destination in its own right.

Andy Treadwell

Now there is a genuine desire among owners, captains and charter guests to find somewhere new and less crowded – and here, even though it’s twice as far away, they will find unspoiled and virtually limitless cruising grounds, beautiful beaches and diving spots, as well as great service from friendly, happy people.

The main thing that has been stopping them has been incompatible regulation and the inability to legally charter. It costs anything up to US$500,000 to bring a big boat all the way to Asia – more for the really big boats – so once it’s gotten here, it really needs to stay for the entire season. Owners probably only use the boat for three or four weeks, so it’s important that all the rest of the time the crew can be kept occupied, the boat active and some charter fees earned to offset the huge cost for the owners.

Apart from Singapore, which has somewhat less berths, there is really nowhere else, or not for a very long way.

I think Phuket will continue to develop. We have been met with a positive, welcoming and proactive response from the government here with regards to the opportunity to attract superyachts to Thailand, and we have been assured that the change in regulations we have been requesting will be put into action very soon.

We have principally focused on the need to allow foreign-flagged superyachts to come here and charter, which is currently not allowed – but only because the existing regulations were based on traditional merchant shipping rules, and have never been adapted for large pleasure yachts. Our proposal was simply to ‘customize’ the regulations here, similarly to those we have seen recently adopted in other yacht-friendly countries, such as Fiji, New Zealand and Spain.

This is not just reasonable, it makes sense – the market will be boosted, and all the local yacht businesses, including the smaller charter yachts and boats, will see huge benefits too. Not all of the influx of high-spending tourists will be able to afford or even want to rent a superyacht. Our next job is to bring them here, as the numbers are currently quite small while they cannot charter. But these yachts and their crew need to be able to stay a whole season, even the whole year, so that they can work hard and defray costs for their owners at the same time as bringing in revenue for Thailand.

The government was naturally keen to understand the economic benefits for tourism and maritime businesses, but also to ensure that if big yachts were to be made welcome in large numbers, they would be operated in an environmentally-friendly way, and would comply with both Thai and international safety and security standards. We helped document the positive evidence on all these dimensions – and, as I say, we have been able to discuss all of these concerns in a positive and proactive way.

Phuket should be catering to both superyachts and smaller charter yachts. However, the bigger yachts will have the most impact on the economy – never mind the bunkering services, the refit and repair, the hotels and restaurants and so on. Phuket also has a major advantage in that there will soon be over 100 berths for superyachts and megayachts here – unique in the whole region – so the opportunity is enormous and should be seized.

At the same time, we are engaging, through our Singapore Yacht Show and our wider marketing efforts with, an ever-growing community of lifestyle-hungry people from all over Asia, who might currently be uninitiated, but are all new potential charterers – and, one day, new yacht owners. Everybody loves coming to Thailand, and this industry will bring exactly the kind of high-end, high-spending tourism that Phuket needs.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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